Health care stocks were sharply higher, with the NYSE Health Care Index rising 1.5% this afternoon while the shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also were up 1.9% as a group. The Nasdaq Biotechnology index also was climbing 2.6%.
Among health care stocks moving on news:
(+) Vivus (VVUS) rallied on Wednesday, at one point pushing out to a 73% advance after US regulators approved the company's supplemental new drug application for a delayed-release formulation of its pancreaze prescription medicine used to treat people who cannot digest food normally due to pancreas disorders. According to Vivus the new formulation extends its shelf life up to 36 months across and will reduce the out-of-pocket costs for patients.
In other sector news:
(+) Cerner (CERN) rose almost 6% after the health care information technology company reported non-GAAP Q4 net income of $0.75 per share, improving on a $0.63 per share adjusted profit during the same quarter last year and beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.01 per share. Revenue rose to $1.44 billion from $1.37 billion a year ago, topping the $1.43 billion Street view.
(+) Aimmune Therapeutics (AIMT) climbed 3.2% on Wednesday after saying Nestle Health Science was making an additional $200 million equity investment in the biopharmaceuticals company, boosting its total investment to $473 million.
(-) Gilead Sciences (GILD) fell 2.3% after the specialty drugmaker reported below-consensus Q4 net income, earning $1.30 per share during the three months ended Dec. 31 and falling short of the $1.67 per share profit expected, on average, by analysts. Gilead shares also were facing resistance after the US patent office Wednesday said it's unlikely the company will win cases challenging the government ownership of the patents underlying HIV drugs.
Price: 3.78, Change: +1.48, Percent Change: +64.36
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